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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Johns Hopkins University tries to ban Chick-fil-A from campus

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

BALTIMORE, MD, May 1, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Johns Hopkins University Student Government has called on school adminstrators to ban the restaurant chain Chick-fil-A from campus.

The student government specified Chick-fil-A's support of traditional marriage as the sole reason for administrators to halt any discussions or plans to allow the business at the university, saying the mere presence of the chicken sandwich eatery would be a "microaggression."

Many students requested a Chick-fil-A franchise be established in the school's new multi-use development, but the Student Government Association (SGA) is trying to nix the idea. The SGA resolution states flatly that they "do not support the proposal of a Chick-fil-A," because gay students and staff "would be subjected to the microaggression of supporting current or future Chick-fil-A development plans."

In a recent statement, the SGA explained that their ban is because of the restaurant's "homophobic initiatives," and is "in the best interest of a cohesive campus environment in which all students feel accepted.”

Andrew Guernsey, a junior and president of the university's Voice for Life chapter, says the ban "sends a clear message that students who disagree...are not welcome on the Hopkins campus."

In remarks delivered to the SGA before its vote, Guernsey said, "The notion of keeping the university...free from one side of a debate on hot-button issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, is absolutely antithetical to Johns Hopkins’ stated commitment to the free and robust exchange of ideas.”

Opposition to Chick-fil-A began after CEO Dan Cathy said in 2012 that he personally disapproved of same-sex “marriage.” Cathy, a devoted Christian, stated, "We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."

The homosexual backlash was intense. Chick-fil-A clarified, saying, "The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender…Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

The clarification did not stop the anti-Chick-fil-A movement. Homosexual activists demanded that the restaurant chain be banned from college campuses. Indiana University, Elon University, and other schools sought to remove Chick-fil-A. Northwestern University homosexuals compared Chick-fil-A to the Ku Klux Klan. One group called it "hate chicken."

The threat from Chick-fil-A food was so great, at one event Northwestern's campus chapter of the Democratic Party provided an “Alternative Food Table” at a debate over marriage, in order to protect homosexual students with a "safe space,” free of Chick-fil-A sandwiches.

Entire cities have declared the restaurant unwelcome, and some have tried to close existing stores. The mayors of Boston and Chicago issued statements pillorying Chick-fil-A. New York City Councilwoman Christine Quinn demanded that the only Chick-fil-A restaurant in the city be shut down.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a social liberal, disagreed, defending businesses' right to operate without government interference. “It’s inappropriate for a city government, or a state government, or the federal government, to look at somebody’s political views and decide whether or not they can live in the city, or operate a business in the city, or work for somebody in the city,” Bloomberg said.

“You can’t have a test for what the owners’ personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city. You really don’t want to ask political beliefs or religious beliefs before you issue a permit. That’s just not government’s job,” the New York mayor said.

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty commented, "Now you have the police power of government being used to intimidate and threaten people, based on their free speech rights and their religious views. It's chilling."

Politicians and public figures who have spoken out in favor of Chick-fil-A include supporters such as Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink, Rev. Billy Graham, International Christian Concern, the National Organization for Marriage, the Family Research Council, and former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

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